Shiplake Vikings Rowing Club was founded in early spring 1985.
Many new adventures were conceived at the Baskerville Arms during the 80s, and Barry Walford had always held ambitions to row, so Adrian Morris, a regular in the pub (later to become the owner of Aylings Racing Boats), suggested that Barry should row with him at Henley Rowing Club – then based at Brakspear’s Brewery. However this proved difficult due to the lack of boats available for veterans at that time.
Peter Hose, a rowing coach and housemaster at Shiplake College and also a regular at the Baskerville, suggested approaching the college who had good rowing facilities which were largely unused during weekends. Peter Hose then sought the blessing of the Head Master, Peter Lapping, who was keen to have the college more involved with the local community, and the college Bursar Jim Mansergh. Barry then canvassed others in Shiplake who were interested in rowing and an inaugural meeting was arranged in the college master’s study.
At the meeting it was agreed to form a club to be named the Shiplake Vikings Rowing Club, a list of potential members was drawn up and Barry Walford was appointed the first Chairman. It was also agreed not to set a yearly subscription but for members to pay per seat in the boat which at the end of the first year allowed us to purchase a new set of carbon fibre oars for the college first eight. In the early days, novice veterans were greatly helped by the college rowing coaches Mark Hayter and Peter Hose and also by the influx of members from Henley, Reading and Upper Thames rowing clubs whose experience was such an encouragement.